Majestic trees are coming to Southbank’s Hayward Gallery this week in all their arty guises, and Vanessa Williams is swirling into town for her stint in the award-winnng “City of Angels” at the Garrick Theatre. An exhibition marking Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday opens at the Florence Nightingale Museum, just in time for International Women’s Day. Have you booked one of the fantastic IWD walks with LookUp London this week? Be there or be square!
Wednesday 4 March
Aubrey Beardsley at Tate Britain opens today with a major exhibition of over 200 works celebrating the artist’s brief but astonishing career. Although he died tragically young at the age of just 25, Beardsley’s subversive and intricate black-and-white images have continued to shock and delight admirers for over a century. This will be the largest display of his original drawings in over 50 years and the first exhibition of his work at Tate since 1923. On until 25 May.
Among the Trees at the Hayward Gallery celebrates art that reimagines how we think about trees and forests, with works ranging from immersive video installations to life-sized sculptures and from large-scale paintings and drawings to intimate black-and-white photographs. Timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the exhibition explores how trees have shaped human civilisation and how they continue to play an indispensable role in our lives and imaginations. On until 17 May.
Contemporary society’s relationship with architecture is to be explored in a major solo exhibition by the artists Ben Langlands and Nikki Bell, opening at Sir John Soane’s Museum. Works featured will range from “Traces of Living” (first made in 1986), an installation in which the refuse and relics of everyday life are embedded into tables and chairs, to the Turner prize-nominated “The House of Osama bin Laden” (2003), a multimedia installation in which visitors use a joystick to navigate a digital recreation of Osama bin Laden’s former home. Entry is free. On until 31 May.
Thursday 5 March
The Donmar Warehouse’s Olivier Award-winning production of City of Angels transfers to the Garrick Theatre, starring Hadley Fraser, Rosalie Craig, Rebecca Trehearn and, making her West End debut, Vanessa Williams.
Noël Coward’s wonderfully witty Blithe Spirit, starring Jennifer Saunders, opens at the Duke of York Theatre. On until 11 April.
Saturday 7 March
The Barnes Music Festival is back with its annual celebration of music-making which includes choral, instrumental, orchestral, opera, jazz and film events. Alistair McGowan returns with singer Charlotte Page and their special Coward show “Sincerely Noel,” whilst Howard Goodall presents his documentary on “The Beatles.” The King’s College London Choir presents a new version of Holst’s “The Cloud Messenger,” and Tiffin Boys’ Choir performs “Handel Messiah.” This year’s ambitious opera production is Janáček’s “Cunning Little Vixen,” and distinguished conductor Jane Glover is coming to talk about her excellent book, “Handel in London.”. International baritone Roderick Williams will be performing some Vaughan Williams, Mahler and Schubert. Events on until 22 March. Book here.
Sunday 8 March
Happy International Women’s Day!
A new exhibition opens today at the Florence Nightingale Museum, marking the 200 years since Nightingale’s birth. The exhibition will peer far beyond the mythical ‘Lady with the Lamp’ tale to present a fully-rounded picture of a visionary reformer, tireless campaigner and inspirational world leader in her field. While exploring Florence’s heroic role during the Crimean War, which saw her worshipped by suffering soldiers and propelled to fame, the exhibition will shine a light on the next thirty years of her life, during which she revolutionised nursing with boundless determination, all while suffering physical illness and depression. Nightingale in 200 Objects, People & Places is on until 7 March 2021. In conjunction with International Women’s, the museum is launching the Florence Nightingale Barbie doll.
Donna Leon fans (author of the Commissario Brunetti novels set in Venice) will be delighted to hear she’s talking at Daunt Books in Marylebone.
Accessibility in Museums
If you’re visiting a museum and have mobility issues, here is an accessible guide to some of London’s galleries to which I contributed.
Diary of a Londoness subscribers get a small discount with Theatre Tickets Direct using code adtr3
“In London, everyone is different, and that means anyone can fit in.” (Paddington Bear)
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